AUDEN, Wystan Hugh, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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AUDEN, Wystan Hugh (1907-1973). Poet.
Fine Typewritten Letter Signed ('W.H. Auden') to Neil Tierney, 1 page 4to / A4 (very slight foxing), 77 St Mark's Place, New York City, 12 November 1971. With the retained carbon copy of Tierney's letter to Auden of 16 June 1971 to which this is the reply.

Neil Tierney, a journalist and author, was engaged on a biography of Igor Stravinsky (published as Unknown Country. Life of Igor Stravinsky in 1977), and had written to Auden to ask him for his personal reminiscences of the composer, and especially of his cooperation with Stravinsky when writing the libretto for The Rake's Progress. In his reply Auden makes the important point that 'the libretto is not by me, but a collaboration between me and Mr Chester Kallman', and provides in tabulated form full details of exactly how much each of them had written.

'... Together we decided what had to be done to convert the basic Hogarth material into characters and plot which would make a viable and singable libretto. I have discussed our problems about this in the third chapter of my book Secondary Worlds ...
 'Aside from a request for a reprise of a chorus, Stravinsky set our text as delivered.'

[No: 25934]


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